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Major renovations...process?

(9 Posts)
FaceDirectionOfTravel Thu 20-Feb-14 20:36:22

We are thinking of having some major renovations done over the next couple of years but this is terrifying as I've never done anything like this.

Want to get professional advice, like architect, but specialising in remodelling period homes. Is there a name for this professional? And what do they normally charge and how? Flat fee for a couple of fully drawn up options? Hourly rate as they walk through your home with you? Will they laugh in my face for being an ignorant peasant who doesn't know what an RSJ is?

What is your experience?

MrsTaraPlumbing Fri 21-Feb-14 08:36:26

May be architect.
Maybe a building company who specialise in that sort of work - some employ or can recommend architects.
Try to keep local and get good references.

I would say most businesses will talk/meet with you free of charge once or twice to discuss what you want and what they cam offer.
No they won't laugh at you.
If you feel they are laughing, or using unreasonable argon then don't employ them.
Meet (interview) a few possible and get quotes.
Obvious employ people who are professional with good recommendations but also make sure they "feel" good to you.
No matter how good they are do not employ them if you just don't like them.

This would be one place to find reputable tradesmen in South:

OnePlanOnHouzz Fri 21-Feb-14 08:57:27

have you looked on
seems a good site for tips and ideas !
dependant on your definition of major renovations ... either combining the skills of a decent renovation company (like MrsTara's ) and a decent concept planner ( me !) could be a good route for a property makeover, ie adding openings , new kitchen, bathrooms changing the room uses to get a better flow etc or for more of a structural complete 're jig and add to' type project then an architect and structural engineer might be required first !.... can be a totally different kettle of fish if the building is listed too !

either way - it's an exciting ( and daunting ) time ! take your time to list all the things you want your home to be able to achieve in this remodel ! and keep it somewhere close to hand - so you don't loose sight if the end goal !!
have fun !! :-)

FaceDirectionOfTravel Sat 22-Feb-14 16:08:11

Thanks so much, peeps! Will look into all that.

truelymadlysleepy Sat 22-Feb-14 17:29:57

I'm in the middle of one now. I'd say the most important is a really good builder (we had to wait 12 months for ours), a decent architect who can understand what you want and deep pockets. We're PMing our own and saving some money but it's very time consuming.
Apparently the mantra is "it'll be worth it in the end".

Belindabelle Sat 22-Feb-14 18:31:12

It will be so worth it in the end.

We employed an architect in Feb 2012. Finalised plans by April. Finally got planning permission and building warrant in Oct 2012.

Family ill health and Christmas approaching put a halt to the process.

Put project out to tender Jan 2013. Builder started May 2013. Builder finished Oct 2013. Kitchen installed and decoration mostly finished by Nov 2013.

Gave ourselves a few months to recuperate and now ready to crack on and decorate the rest of the house and get the garden sorted.

Still got pick some new furniture and lighting to chose but I like to take my time.

Doing an extension/renovation is just like childbirth. Whilst you are going through it and immediately afterwards you say never again. But a few months down the line when you are enjoying your lovely new surroundings you will think it was completely worth all the pain.

heritagewarrior Sat 22-Feb-14 18:38:22

You can find architects who specialise in working on period property on the Royal Institute of British Architects website ( or the Register of Architects Accredited in Building Conservation (

FaceDirectionOfTravel Tue 25-Feb-14 20:31:43

Thanks all. Still quite scared but will check back in when I have some time.

SimLondon Tue 25-Feb-14 20:34:43

We used a structural engineer who also did his own drawings / design - due to erm structural concerns :-) but he was great and does lots of extensions / remodelling projects.

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